Beyond California’s coast and surrounded by the tumultuous Pacific Ocean, endlessly battered by wind and waves and commonly shrouded in fog, lies the archipelago known as the Farallon Islands. Continue reading
Update – 4/22/2016 CDFW Announces Latest Dungeness and Rock Crab Openings, Closures
Update – 4/4/2016 On March 11, 2016 the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and California Department of Public Health lifted the health advisory for Dungeness crab for the region south of the Sonoma-Mendocino County line (near Gualala, Mendocino County). The recreational Dungeness crab fishery has been open since this date, and the commercial fishery opened in this area on March 26. Continue reading
Northern California kelp forests have been reduced to an all-time low due to a “perfect storm” of large-scale ecological impacts. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) marine invertebrate management team has conducted annual ecosystem surveys of kelp forests in Sonoma and Mendocino counties since the late 1990s, and recent observations have caused concern about the state of the kelp forests. The severe reduction in kelp has already impacted the recreational red abalone fishery and commercial red urchin fishery, two economically important fisheries in northern California.
Abalone and Urchins Starving
Bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana), usually common on the northern California coast, has declined dramatically since 2014. Kelp forests are now 93 percent smaller compared to previous years, creating starvation conditions for herbivores. Continue reading
Update – 3/15/2016 The commercial Dungeness crab fishery remains closed statewide while the recreational fishery opened last month south of Point Reyes, Marin County (38° North latitude) following a recommendation from the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and Department of Public Health that lifted the health advisory for Dungeness crab in this area. Dungeness crab domoic acid test results from Bodega Bay have shown “clean” areas (less than 30 parts per million (ppm) domoic acid concentration in the crab), but the Russian River area still needs two clean tests. Continue reading
The beauty and charm of the area north of Point Arena is not lost on those who explore the remote wilderness. Rugged coastlines plunge into the sea, fog rolls in from the ocean and quiets the surrounding hillsides, and hiking trails beckon those wanting to explore some of California’s most pristine nature. The area lays claim to a quieter, slower-paced life, compared to the industrialized areas farther south. Continue reading